Meals on the go: Heinz USB powered mini-microwave
By Paul Ridden
June 16, 2009
Heinz, famous the world over for its ketchup and baked beans, claims to have come up with a quick and easy solution for the legions of stressed out workers who are missing out on meals because they are tied to their desks. A portable microwave oven amusingly called the Beanzawave might not sound that impressive, but add its miniature dimensions and USB connectivity to the mix then this could be a recipe for success.
Petite and portable
The world's smallest microwave was thought to measure just 267mm x 254mm x 305mm, until Heinz approached GAMA Microwave Technology Limited and rewrote the rule book that is. The prototype Beanzawave is just 150mm x 160mm x 190mm, the itty-bitty dimensions being achieved by the use of mobile phone radio frequencies to heat the food both inside and out. Safety features like protective walls and the power being cut when the door is opened means that it also conforms to all safety standards expected of a microwave oven. And it's power is provided by connecting it to a USB port on a desktop PC or laptop, offering numerous scenarios for enjoying hot meals on the go. On the train, on the bus, at work, on the way to meetings - the list is as large as the device is small.
But the mini-microwave wasn't developed just to be the smallest in the world, according to Heinz it was developed to help make sure an increasing number of stressed out workers didn't skip meals. According to a recent survey of just over 2000 British adults conducted by Opinium, about 20% of the population are too busy to take time for lunch. This "all work and no eat" culture no doubt contributes to the 78% of those surveyed who also felt lethargic and stressed by the end of the day.
Heinz already make a range of tiny microwave meals and it's no accident that these Snap Pots snuggly fit into the Beanzawave. John Alderman, Marketing Manager for Heinz Beanz says, "Beanzawave is the perfect partner to Heinz Snap Pots, allowing a nutritious snack to be whipped up anywhere in just 60 seconds!" Of course there are numerous other minute meal solutions you could choose such as soups or pasta or a hot sandwich in a bun.
Will it reach the market?
There are rumblings that a truly portable battery powered version may be developed too, but as the Beanzawave is in the prototype phase at the moment there is no indication at this as to whether either version will ever make it to the marketplace. Heinz says that any such decision will be made based on feedback from the public.
Given that the handy portable oven has been developed to help stressed out workers eat regularly in these bleak economic times, the current potential price tag of £100/$165 (based on current component costs) might just be too high for it to become a must-have gizmo.
If you want to know more visit Heinz.com and fill in the information request form.